Monday, February 8, 2010

black & white


While we are waiting for the polls to close on the Fluevog Creative competition, I thought I'd share some black and white photographs I took yesterday in Karaköy and Tophane, which are right at the mouth of the Golden Horn, across from the old city.

Speaking of black and white photography, there's this gorgeous 75 lira book at Robinson Crusoe 389 that I have been in love with for the past several months— Ara Güler's Istanbul. Ara Güler is an incredible Turkish photojournalist who considers himself a "visual historian"— he captures fleeting, forgotten moments in time that tell a story beyond current events. His rich black and white photographs feel more like memories to me; which is why I am so drawn to his work. When I sketch, I love catching those unimportant minutes of someone's life that will most likely never be remembered— daydreaming on the metro, laughing with a friend over coffee, reading a paper on a Wednesday afternoon. Our lives are made up of all these hours, minutes and seconds that pass so quietly; insignificant in the face of larger events.

The photographs in Ara Güler's Istanbul move me, grab me, and allow me to catch a glimpse of lives I will never know. There's this image of a man— I don't know the page number, because I take pleasure in finding him each time— an older gentleman with the kindest, shining eyes and a thin smile. Wrinkles emphasise some emotion that looks like momentary happiness or bemusement— closed hands up to his chin, a clear class bottle on the table in front of him. The moment is so ephemeral, that I almost forget what it looks like myself, which is why every time I walk down Istiklal Caddesi, I sneak into Robinson Crusoe and search for the beautiful man with the bottle. I should just buy the book— but I've made a ritual out of visiting it and slowly turning the pages in silence from cover to cover. There's also this picture of a young girl in a flowered dress, enjoying a lolly in front of a house where two women are joyously laughing in the window... oh I could go on! Any lover of portraits must have this book in their library— and I highly recommend that sketchers check it out too. It's simply beautiful.

Alright. We're one hour and a half away from finding out if I've won the competition. At 63.2%, it's looking quite promising!


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